Publications by authors named "Safina Naz"

9 Publications

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Arsenic exposure through drinking groundwater and consuming wastewater-irrigated vegetables in Multan, Pakistan.

Environ Geochem Health 2021 Apr 23. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, 60800, Pakistan.

Arsenic (As) is one of the most toxic metalloids for humans. Above permissible levels of As cause severe health implications. Contaminated drinking water and food items may be the leading sources of As exposure to people all around the world. The current study assessed the levels of As in drinking water, vegetables, irrigation water, agricultural soils, and the human population (adult women and men) of rural and peri-urban areas of Multan (Pakistan). For a comparison between peri-urban (exposed site) and rural areas (control site), we sampled irrigation water, vegetables and vegetable-grown soils, drinking water, and human blood. In all sample types, As concentration was significantly higher at exposed site than at control site. Alarmingly, As concentration in drinking groundwater (34 µg As L) of exposed site was 3.4-folds higher than the permissible limit (set by WHO). Among the studied vegetables, the cumulative daily dietary intake of As was recorded maximum by the consumption of okra (474 ng d on exposed site) and minimum by long melon (1 ng d on control site). However, As intake via drinking water was estimated to contribute ≥ 98% of total As intake at both sites. Hence, the health risks associated with drinking As-contaminated groundwater were recorded much higher than the health risks associated with the consumption of As-contaminated vegetables. Blood As levels in most of the subjects at exposed site exceeded the safe limit of 12 µg L. Conclusively, the findings of the current study indicated that drinking contaminated groundwater may be the major cause of As-associated health risks in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10653-021-00940-zDOI Listing
April 2021

Sewage wastewater reclamation with sand column filter and reduction of heavy metal accumulation in tomato and okra.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Apr 22. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Horticulture, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, 60800, Pakistan.

Heavy metal accumulation has much increased in edible parts of fresh fruits and vegetables due to use of industrial waste/effluent, and wastewater. In the current work, sewage wastewater was reclaimed through a column filled with sand having a mesh size of 0.5 mm and its effect was investigated on concentration of different heavy metals, vegetative growth, and yield of okra and tomato. The use of unfiltered sewage wastewater (UFSW) had considerably higher concentrations of heavy metals but it substantially increased plant height, leaf number, and leaf area in both okra and tomato plants in contrast to filtered sewage wastewater (FSW). The application of UFSW resulted in a significantly higher accumulation of lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), iron (Fe), and copper (Cu) in roots and edible parts of okra and tomato as compared with FSW treatment. However, FSW and UFSW did not significantly influence concentrations of chromium (Cr) and cadmium (Cd) in roots and edible parts of both okra and tomato. In conclusion, sand column filtration technique could be efficiently used for the reclamation of sewage wastewater, and reduction of various heavy metals present in sewage wastewater-irrigated crops.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-13976-6DOI Listing
April 2021

Combined application of ascorbic and oxalic acids delays postharvest browning of litchi fruits under controlled atmosphere conditions.

Food Chem 2021 Jul 10;350:129277. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan.

The effect of ascorbic acid [AA (40 mmol L)] and oxalic acid [OA (2 mmol L)] on browning of litchi fruit was investigated under 5% CO + 1% O controlled atmosphere (CA) and compared with air at 5 ± 1 °C for 28 days. The combined application of AA and OA suppressed browning index, soluble quinones, and activities of polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase under CA compared with control. The combination of CA along with AA + OA reduced weight loss and maintained higher anthocyanins, total phenolics, membrane integrity, ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase activities compared with control. In addition, AA + OA + CA combination showed markedly lower malondialdehyde, superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide with substantially higher soluble solids content, ascorbic acid, titratable acidity and sensory quality compared with control. In conclusion, AA + OA combination could be considered appropriate to delay browning and to conserve litchi fruit visual appearance under CA storage conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129277DOI Listing
July 2021

Effect of gum arabic coating on antioxidative enzyme activities and quality of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) fruit during ambient storage.

J Food Biochem 2021 Apr 19;45(4):e13656. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

The effect of gum arabic (GA) coating was studied on apricot fruit at 20 ± 1°C for 8 days. GA coating substantially reduced weight loss, disease incidence, malondialdehyde concentration, and hydrogen peroxide compared to the control. GA coating resulted in significantly higher total phenols, ascorbic acid, and antioxidant activity in contrast to the control. GA coating also suppressed cellulase, pectin methylesterase, and polygalacturonase activity in contrast to the non-coated fruit. In addition, GA-coated apricot fruit had substantially higher catalase, peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase enzymes activities in contrast with the control. Similarly, GA coating inhibited soluble solids content increase and inhibited the reduction in titratable acidity in coated fruit. The fruit coated with GA coating also had significantly better sensory and overall eating quality compared to the control apricots. In conclusion, GA could be considered an appropriate edible coating for quality conservation of apricots. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Apricot is a well renowned and nutrients rich fruit. However, apricot has comparatively short shelf life potential due to its susceptibility to rapid senescence and deterioration under ambient conditions. GA is an eco-friendly and biodegradable coating which is considered relatively cheap as compared with other coating types. In our present work, application of gum arabic [GA (10%)] edible coating maintained significantly higher quality of harvested apricot fruit as compared with the control. The outcomes of the present work are of global significance with respect to apricot industry. So, GA coating could be considered an appropriate edible coating for quality conservation of the harvested apricot fruit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13656DOI Listing
April 2021

Phytomelatonin: An overview of the importance and mediating functions of melatonin against environmental stresses.

Physiol Plant 2021 Jun 18;172(2):820-846. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Department of Life Sciences, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Recently, melatonin has gained significant importance in plant research. The presence of melatonin in the plant kingdom has been known since 1995. It is a molecule that is conserved in a wide array of evolutionary distant organisms. Its functions and characteristics have been found to be similar in both plants and animals. The review focuses on the role of melatonin pertaining to physiological functions in higher plants. Melatonin regulates physiological functions regarding auxin activity, root, shoot, and explant growth, activates germination of seeds, promotes rhizogenesis (growth of adventitious and lateral roots), and holds up impelled leaf senescence. Melatonin is a natural bio-stimulant that creates resistance in field crops against various abiotic stress, including heat, chemical pollutants, cold, drought, salinity, and harmful ultra-violet radiation. The full potential of melatonin in regulating physiological functions in higher plants still needs to be explored by further research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppl.13262DOI Listing
June 2021

Tragacanth gum coating modulates oxidative stress and maintains quality of harvested apricot fruits.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Nov 23;163:2439-2447. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

Tragacanth gum is a polysaccharide-based complex with a good coating property. However, its use in postharvest storage of fresh fruits and vegetables is very limited. In the current work, the effect of tragacanth gum (1%) was investigated on postharvest quality of apricot fruits during storage at 20 ± 1 °C for 8 days. Apricot fruits coated with tragacanth gum coating showed significantly reduced weight loss, decay and electrolyte leakage, hydrogen peroxide and malondialdehyde production. Tragacanth gum coating suppressed increase in total soluble solids and showed higher titratable acidity compared with control. The coated fruits had higher total phenolics and ascorbic acid along with greater 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity in contrast with control. Postharvest application of tragacanth gum coating maintained markedly higher activities of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) enzymes activities as compared with control. In addition, tragacanth gum application suppressed polygalacturonase (PG), pectin methylesterase (PME), and cellulase (CX) enzymes activities, thereby suppressed softening of apricot fruits. Sensory quality attributes such as taste, juiciness, aroma, appearance, and overall acceptability were also significantly higher in tragacanth gum coated fruits compared with control. In conclusion, tragacanth gum coating could be considered suitable for postharvest quality conservation of apricot fruits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.09.179DOI Listing
November 2020

Impact of Drying Method on the Evaluation of Fatty Acids and Their Derived Volatile Compounds in 'Thompson Seedless' Raisins.

Molecules 2020 Jan 30;25(3). Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Center for Viticulture & Enology, College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China.

Air- and sun-dried raisins from Thompson Seedless (TS) grapes were analyzed under GC/MS to evaluate fatty acids (FAs) and their derived volatile compounds, coming from unsaturated fatty acids oxidation. A total of 16 FAs were identified in TS raisins, including 10 saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and 6 unsaturated fatty acids (USFAs). The contents of C18:0, C15:0, and C16:0 among SFAs and C18:3, C18:2 and C18:1 in USFAs were significantly higher. Furthermore, USFAs such as C16:1 and C20:1 were only identified in air-dried raisins. The principal component analysis showed the increased content of FAs and FA-derived compounds were in air-dried and sun-dried raisins, respectively. Among FA-derived compounds, 2-pentyl furan, 3-octen-2-one, 1-hexanol and heptanoic acid were more potent. This study shows that air-drying is more favorable for the production of fatty acids (SFAs and USFAs), whereas sun-drying is more advantageous in terms of fatty acid-derived volatiles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030608DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7037874PMC
January 2020

Effect of pre-storage ascorbic acid and Aloe vera gel coating application on enzymatic browning and quality of lotus root slices.

J Food Biochem 2020 03 6;44(3):e13136. Epub 2020 Jan 6.

Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan.

The effect of ascorbic acid [AA (1%)] and Aloe vera gel [AVG (50%)] coating alone and in combination was investigated on enzymatic browning and quality of lotus root slices during storage at 20 ± 1°C. The combined application of AA and AVG coating delayed surface browning, reduced increase in relative electrolyte leakage (REL) and showed higher overall visual quality (OVQ). Similarly, AA and AVG combined treatment reduced superoxide anion ( ) and hydrogen peroxide (H O ) production and malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and suppressed peroxidase (POD) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activities. In addition, AA and AVG treatment conserved higher AA content, ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) enzymes activities along with higher total phenolics and radical scavenging activity. In conclusion, the combined application of AA and AVG coating could be an appropriate treatment to delay surface browning and quality loss of lotus root slices. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Lotus root is an aquatic rhizome vegetable. The fresh-cut slices of lotus roots are prone to post-cut enzymatic browning and quality deterioration during postharvest storage. Browning induced loss of visual quality and microbial infestations are the leading constraints in extending storage and/or shelf life of lotus root slices. Surface browning results in loss of characteristic color eventually leading to significant reduction in market potential and visual quality. However, quality deterioration and development of browning could be delayed with some suitable postharvest treatments. So, the effect of AA and Aloe vera gel based coating was investigated for quality conservation of lotus root slices. The findings of the current work are of global importance in reducing browning and conserving visual quality of lotus root slices in particular and fresh-cut produce in general.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13136DOI Listing
March 2020

Effect of postharvest oxalic acid application on enzymatic browning and quality of lotus (Nelumbo nuciferaGaertn.) root slices.

Food Chem 2020 May 17;312:126051. Epub 2019 Dec 17.

Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan. Electronic address:

Post-cut surface browning is one of the major constraints for shelf-life extension of lotus root slices. In the present study, lotus roots slices were treated with 0, 5 and 10 mmol L oxalic acid and stored at 20 ± 1 °C for 5 days. Results showed that 10 mmol L oxalic acid treated lotus slices exhibited reduced browning, superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde content than control. The 10 mmol L treated slices had better visual quality and higher ascorbic acid and total phenolic contents. In addition, 10 mmol L treated slices showed reduced total bacterial count along with lower soluble quinones, peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activities in contrast to control. Similarly, 10 mmol L treatment showed higher superoxide dismutase, catalase and ascorbate peroxidase activities as compared to control. In conclusion, 10 mmol L oxalic acid application could be considered suitable to delay post-cut browning of lotus root slices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.126051DOI Listing
May 2020